[Bilbrey On Selling] Your Personal Brand

by Dave Bilbrey

Your brand, or reputation, is important. Doing a good job of branding yourself is a proven way to differentiate you from the pack. The idea is to demonstrate to customers, prospective customers and influencers that you are better than your competition. Getting the message out that you are a good person to deal with should become part of your personal business plan. You do have a plan…don’t you?

My last three posts have dealt with your education, investing in yourself and selling yourself. Building a brand is an extension of those three messages, and could be the hardest thing you do.

The best way to go about building your reputation-brand, as a professional that knows what he or she are doing, is to create content on your subject. That’s right, you know a lot about your specialty. You know more than most of your competitors and can prove it. The best way to get that message across is to…well…get the message across.

In the world of building and maintaining my personal brand, creating and delivering subject matter content was and is at the core of my personal promotion branding activities.

My business is consulting. People give me money for my advice and services. I show my clients how to grow their businesses by increasing sales. My consulting has caused a local company to grow from $1 million dollars in sales per year to $1 million dollars of sales per month in eighteen months. Not bad. And, it has made me a very busy guy. My docket is full and my cash flow is terrific.

Going from a business idea a few years ago to becoming as billable as I care to be was assisted greatly by the subject matter content that I created, published and distributed. I know my stuff, but I found it difficult to approach strangers and tell them “You should really hire me. I’m good. No kidding.” That is clumsy and uncomfortable, and not very professional. Your message is much more powerful and meaningful if it comes from a third party, or…if you tell your story in a neutral setting.

One way to establish your brand and build your business is to speak to groups. Booking a speaking engagement is easier than you think. Just get the word out within your network and the opportunities will come. You must be good and deliver a valuable and relevant message. That given, your next client could very well be sitting in the audience. Whenever I speak, I offer a free hour of my time to anyone in the audience to discuss their individual challenges. Some of them take me up on it and some of them hire me. It’s that simple. Talk about an easy sales process.

I also rely on three technology platforms to support my brand. The first is my website. The web is essentially an online brochure. I update it now and then with events and accomplishment. It also has a library of recommendations from the happy campers I have helped in the past. The web is a low cost and high performance tool that anyone can manage for themselves.

The next tool that I use is an e-mail marketing service. I create a monthly newsletter that is distributed to my customers, prospective customers, influencers and associates. I feature upcoming events, review recent events, feature a technology, a company in my network and offer myself as a speaker for the readers group or association. Every time I publish the newsletter I get a positive response or two. How hard is it to create and publish a newsletter? Not hard, nor is it expensive.

The third leg of my triad of technology tools is my blog. A blog is a place to post your thoughts on your subject to share with your audience. A blog is not an advertisement or a commercial. Your blog is a platform, to deliver relevant content to your audience that will benefit them and make them come back for more. The beauty of the blog is that the Internet really likes content. As you blog, you create a bunch of content on your subject. After so many blogs, you have enough material to publish a white paper if you have a theme and stick with it (like I have been doing with my last few posts). Over time, you should have enough material for a book. A published author is special and a proven subject matter expert.

The good news is that you don’t need to spend a lot of time on these supporting technologies. I routinely write during non-selling hours. Saturday or Sunday mornings are my prime writing times. If you are uncomfortable writing, get a MP3 player and dictate your material. There is software that can convert your dictation to text. There are also people who can transcribe your dictation for a modest fee.

So there you have it. Establish your expertise and separate yourself from the pack with content. You are an expert and you know it. It’s time to show it.

– Dave Bilbrey – Master Salesman, Sales Consultant

Dave’s Blog

Dave’s Website

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